“UiTM student body’s call for wear black protest over non-Bumi medical student intake is flawed”

AS PER usual, another issue is being fanned with 3R (race, royalty and religion) sentiments by parties keen to push certain narratives or to further their agendas. This time it revolves around the purported intake of non-Bumiputera students into the hallowed halls of Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM).

A statement issued by the UiTM’s student representative council has called for students to wear black as a sign of protest against this move. This will be part of a wider protest scheduled to from May 14-16 under the #MahasiswaUiTMBantah campaign.

An example of a somehow similar protest to bar intake of non-Bumiputera students in 2021

The statement said the student body unanimously supported keeping UiTM’s doors closed to non-Bumiputera students and to stay true to its original objective of helping less well-to-do students from relevant communities get access to higher education.

It also said that this was in line with Article 153 of the Federal Constitution which protected the special position of the Bumiputera community in the country.

It urged UiTM students to come together as a show solidarity in the face of this perceived threat to the varsity being an exclusively Bumiputera institution.

Short-sighted stance

However, netizen Rezzuan (@h_rezzuan) highlighted the fallacy of the student body’s argument in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

For starters, he debunked the myth that the move was for ALL programmes at UiTM as claimed by the student council. The move was only for a single post-graduate programme in cardiothoracic surgery.

He also explained the need for such a move with regard to that programme, explaining that it was a procedural requirement related to accreditation.

Furthermore, those students would only be placed in the programme on a temporary basis while awaiting the launch of a similar programme at Universiti Malaya.

The poster countered the student body’s obviously flawed narrative with a simple diagram.

The concerned netizen then called on all students to mount a counter-protest by wearing white during the stated period and posting photos online under #MahasiswaBantah.

His impassioned plea was for citizens to not fall for such racist and divisive rhetoric that is nothing but a hindrance to national progress, justifying that the nation’s healthcare profession was under severe duress and much needed to be done to help alleviate their workload.

He quite succinctly reminded everyone to have proper perspective on the issue without being blinded by those with twisted agendas, arguing that the move was to help the healthcare sector.

Needless to say, there were more than a few who disagreed saying that a temporary move would later become permanent, clearly highlighting they have missed the point.

However, one netizen countered the above racist sentiments with a simple reminder to these opponents to recall their stance whence they or a loved one are ill and unable to get the required medical treatment due to lack of qualified manpower. – May 15, 2024

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